GOACA wardrobe classics: chinos

ines de la

I like chinos a lot—they’re snappy and lightweight and good for this time of year, and they take your look up a notch on days when jeans just won’t do. Doesn’t Ines de la Fressange look fantastic in hers? I like to wear them on the baggier side, so I usually size up, and think they look best when belted at the hip.

vince chinos

This pair from Vince is a very good, very dark green.

siwy chinos

Pinstripes are a fun touch, and these are nice and subtle.

caslon chinos

Navy chinos are so damn versatile, and these are well-priced. They also come in a few other colors.

alice chinos

A white pair can be really striking. I’d go for a white top too, and a nice contrast-y belt and shoes.

lauren chinos

I don’t usually like brown, but the hue here is appealingly utilitarian.

ag chinos

A lovely peachy pink.

j brand chinos

This pair from J Brand is a bit more fitted, if that’s how you want to play it.

lotan chinos

Nili Lotan’s Easthampton pant is a favorite of mine, and they’re so punchy in red.

Screen Shot 2018-05-20 at 10.35.43 AM

And finally, a classic khaki pair from Gap.

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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Comments

39 Thoughts on GOACA wardrobe classics: chinos
    Linden
    21 May 2018
    8:27am

    As much as I love chinos, I tend to steer away because the pockets do some kind of strange bagging-out thing on my hips. Anyone else have this problem?

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      c.w.
      21 May 2018
      8:39am

      I sooooo have this problem!!! Thank you, Linden for bringing this issue up! Doesn’t matter what size or brand. Is it body shape?

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        Linden
        21 May 2018
        9:43am

        Dunno. I’ve considered buying a pair and having my seamstress tack the pockets down, but then I won’t have pockets.

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      Candy
      21 May 2018
      8:58am

      A reviewer on another site (maybe Gap or a Nordstrom?) called them hip wings, which I thought was a perfect description.

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      Pia
      21 May 2018
      9:47am

      It happens to me too (I’m small but curvy). I sew most of the pockets shut which helps. But then no pockets!

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      Eloise
      21 May 2018
      10:58am

      Me, too!!

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    y.k.
    21 May 2018
    8:34am

    yes, that’s a gorgeous pic of Ines, even though just looking at those heels makes me wince.

    I think you’re absolutely right- size up.

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      c.w.
      21 May 2018
      8:39am

      Same thought about the heels, but she is stunning.

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        Dana D
        21 May 2018
        8:48am

        Yes…the heels, it hurts to look at them.

        (But isn’t it true that the French know how to pull off that look? For the rest of us, stilettos with chinos would look like an utterly ridiculous attempt at I don’t even know what…)

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          Jessica
          21 May 2018
          9:11am

          I was going to hold my tongue until I saw these comments. The picture loaded slowly for me, and I kept thinking “gorgeous” until I got to the feet. If I were gay (or a straight man), I suspect I would not find a woman attractive in any shoes that make her unable to run for her life from a burning building.

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            Viajera
            21 May 2018
            10:52am

            She is a lovely person … but I don’t like the outfit much at all. And I don’t think it flatters her either. Though I don’t object to the pants – just everything else.

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            Katrina
            22 May 2018
            6:30am

            If a a man writes off a woman on the sole basis of the shoes she’s wearing (which she can take off in case of emergency, by the way), then he’s probably not worth having.

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          Viajera
          22 May 2018
          11:17am

          I agree it is better not to be quick to write people off … and certainly not over shoe choices … but I’d be impressed if I ever met a man who noticed what shoes a woman wore and actually thought about it.

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        Mimi
        21 May 2018
        10:54am

        I have a favorite photo of Ines on my Pinterest “Style Crush” board wearing chinos and a polo shirt with layered gold necklaces and flat sandals. She looks as good as she does in chinos and heels.

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          Mamavalveeta03
          22 May 2018
          12:22am

          I pinned that, too, Mimi, and even attempted to duplicate the look. I looked more like an 8th grade boy who’d gotten into his mom’s jewels. 😏

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          Viajera
          22 May 2018
          11:19am

          Hmm. A polo shirt? I’ll have to googleimage that. I wonder if they look better on women than on men. I kind of have a thing against those shirts … on men. To me they scream Peter Pan.

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            Mimi
            23 May 2018
            10:39am

            Mustard chinos, black polo on Ines? That’s the look. Most polos, tucked into chinos or jeans, make me feel so masculine. (Funny how Ines doesn’t seem to have that problem.) You’d think some necklaces would counteract that somewhat. Too bad it didn’t work for you when you tried it, Mama.

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      Mamavalveeta03
      22 May 2018
      12:20am

      I love Ines dlf’s outfit, but it definitely calls for white converse low-tops…the Americanized version!

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    Lynn in Tucson
    21 May 2018
    9:32am

    I love chinos but many of them (IME) stretch out so badly over the course of the day.

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      Rachel
      21 May 2018
      3:49pm

      I paid the $$ for the AG Caden chino — loved the color and the fit in the store. A first wear and one wash later and they bag out minutes after I put them on. The butt, the knees, off of it. Sorely, sorely disappointed.

      I had a pair of Old Navy green chinos from maybe ten years ago — they were brilliant. Great shape, never bagged out. I wore them to threads.

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        Viajera
        22 May 2018
        11:22am

        This phenomenon fascinates me. Was it the fabric?

        I was talking to a Levis saleswoman the other day and she said pants would be less likely to bag out over the day if they had something besides cotton and elastane in them. Like if there were some polyester thrown in. I haven’t verified it yet. The whole bagging out thing is a giant bummer.

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    Maggie
    21 May 2018
    10:22am

    I may be scarred from having worked too many fast food jobs as a kid, but I’ve never understood the chinos thing. They look so dowdy and stiff on me. Ines, of course, looks great. I look like I just got off my shift at Dunkin Donuts.

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      Mae
      22 May 2018
      11:32am

      Thanks for giving me an out loud laugh, Maggie.

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    Tamara WINAWER
    21 May 2018
    10:52am

    Love the white. I bought a pair from jcrew a couple of years ago…I think they were called “skinny boyfriend chino” or maybe “slouchy skinny” omg who can remember but they are pretty perfect. And you can have 3 colors for the price of the ones featured…

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    Mimi
    21 May 2018
    11:04am

    I love chinos (except in winter), more than jeans. I still wear some from Ralph Lauren’s Rugby line, which shuttered in 2013. The Gap chinos look great and come in some excellent colors, but I’m wondering if they’re too high waisted, hip slung, as Kim pointed out, being the gold standard. Has anyone tried them?

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      S.
      21 May 2018
      12:38pm

      I have a pair of these and, yes, they are higher at the waist than they ought to be — BUT they stretch and bag out so much that by noon they’re sitting pretty low (at the waist and, sadly, the butt). I never feel quite so frumpy as when I’m wearing my Gap chinos.

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    Lesa
    21 May 2018
    11:11am

    I can’t count the pairs of chinos I have purchased over the years, but they always wind up languishing unworn in my closet. This is partially due to all the reasons other readers have noted, but possibly also because 20 years of wearing khacki working uniforms in the Navy (essentially, extremely unflattering chinos) was more than enough for one lifetime.

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      Lorange
      21 May 2018
      4:23pm

      Same here. Every now and then I buy a pair and then never wear them, because I had to wear them as part of a uniform at a job for a few years.

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    holly
    21 May 2018
    1:00pm

    I am still in mourning for the perfect chinos from Charivari which I ripped getting off of a caned chair with a loose nail. Also Republic made good chinos. Now I get them at APC.

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      Christine
      21 May 2018
      4:01pm

      I am still in mourning about Charivari (as well as the demolished Rizzoli across the street). I bought some Martin Margiela dresses there in 1993 but was still a square that I didn’t get the point of the blank label and cut them off. LOL. There goes my chance for a posthomous fashion exhibit at the Costume Institute.

      I ordered the Gap chinos in petite and hope they are OK.

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    Achariya
    21 May 2018
    1:17pm

    Interesting that you should post about chinos. This weekend there was a picture of Princess Di in a pair of tan chinos, and I’ve been thinking about how they were her go-to pants, high waisted and cropped and all.

    Somewhere in this gallery: https://www.glamour.com/gallery/rare-photos-of-princess-diana

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      Mamavalveeta03
      22 May 2018
      12:50am

      Thank you for those, Achariya. I still miss her and wished she could see how happy her sons are!

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    Christine
    21 May 2018
    1:24pm

    Ines would look great in a paper bag, but these boyish clothes do nothing for me, no matter how (relatively) slim or chubby I may be at any moment.

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    joannawnyc
    21 May 2018
    1:43pm

    I lurrrrve chinos! I think the best ones are lightweight and rather slouchy. I have one thicker pair that I like, but they are kind of uniform-y, as others have noted. I like the summery ones that you can wear on a boat. Garnet Hill has some good ones. So does Gap.

    As for the pocket gap issue–for some reason I don’t have much problem with that. I think looking for a pair in a lightweight fabric might help.

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    Gables girl
    21 May 2018
    8:09pm

    The best chinos I have ever seen are the ones Meg Ryan wears in the last scene of You’ve Got Mail. My guess is they are men’s that were tailored for her. Perfect baggie fit with a belt. I’m challenged by the hip pocket thing. Going to try sizing up.

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      Viajera
      22 May 2018
      11:25am

      I love that you said that. I consider Joe’s continued affection after seeing her in them the truest proof of love imaginable. That Nora Ephron was really something.

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    Mamavalveeta03
    22 May 2018
    12:53am

    I have 2 favorite old pairs: 1 from J Crew long ago that was a distressed boyfriend chino, and the 2nd, a pair of gray Sunday slouchy chinos from a few years back.

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    Katrina
    22 May 2018
    6:39am

    MY favorites are from Gap. They have a nice weight to them so they more or less hold their shape throughout the day. I do size up in them, too. It’s so strange to me that the “correct” fit for these brands is a tighter one.

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